Louisiana Department of Natural Resources: Oil tank safety

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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RAGLEY, La. (KPLC) - As the investigation of Sunday evening’s deadly oil tank explosion that took the life of 14-year-old Zalee Day continues, the Department of Natural Resources wants to share how people might be able to prevent another tragedy like this from happening.

The department said that oil sites considered inactive are still dangerous.

“If you see lots of heavy pieces of metal on a site, that is obviously not somebody’s home or something,” said Patrick Courreges with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. “It’s just a good idea to stay away from it. If you don’t know what it does, you don’t need to be near it.”

Inactive sites with tanks left dormant for some time can pose a potential threat.

“Well you have a tank, what’s called a tank battery,” said Courreges.

He warns there’s a potential for leftover product in inactive tank batteries.

“There are storage tanks that are often used to haul the oil until a truck can come by and pick it up. On this particular site, there was a tank battery and nearby by there was what’s called a salt water disposal well,” Courreges said.

He also said to always treat these sites as you would a gun. Consider them loaded.

“Something associated with the oil field, there’s a pretty good assumption that you might have oil. You might have gas vapor. Things like that could be a risk.”

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